What was your biggest obstacle to purchasing audio gear?

Lee

Well-Known Member
Feb 4, 2011
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Alpharetta, Georgia
Looking to understand the forum’s experiences with purchasing gear…

What worked well for you?

What did not work as well for you?

What was your biggest obstacle?
 
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Lee

Well-Known Member
Feb 4, 2011
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Alpharetta, Georgia
Any thoughts?
 

ddk

Industry Expert
May 19, 2013
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Utah
Looking to understand the forum’s experiences with purchasing gear…

What worked well for you?

What did not work as well for you?

What was your biggest obstacle?
At what point in time are you referring to, I've been purchasing audio gear for almost 50 years. Not many spring chickens here most have been at this for a very long time and I'm sure that our purchasing habits or powers changed in that time.

david
 

Lee

Well-Known Member
Feb 4, 2011
2,153
754
550
Alpharetta, Georgia
At what point in time are you referring to, I've been purchasing audio gear for almost 50 years. Not many spring chickens here most have been at this for a very long time and I'm sure that our purchasing habits or powers changed in that time.

david
I am most interested in recent purchases.
 

dcathro

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Sep 16, 2016
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Melbourne, Australia
I haven't bought any new audio components since I got into DIY nearly 30 years ago.
 

facten

Well-Known Member
Feb 13, 2022
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Tennessee
What worked well - A few months back a member whose audio opinions I value gave me his insights on Tchernov interconnects which lead me to begin to get acquainted with Colin (gestalt) of Gestalt Audio in Nashville through some cable purchases. Good experiences! Three weeks ago I made the 3 hour drive up to his place to audition a Tron DAC and New Audio Frontiers amp. A relaxed, non- judgemental, patient, non-sales pushy experience. I solidified a relationship with a dealer I know I can trust and rely upon his knowledge and customer service . I left with a Neodio Origine S2 CD player.

What didn't work well - Something that you can't necessarily get around, the potential hit or miss condition of the equipment depending upon what shipping carrier the dealer uses. Example UPS driver literally intentionally dropped an 85 pound tube amp off the back of the truck, banged on my garage door to let me know someone/something was in my driveway and drove away before I got outside. Luckily the amp wasn't damaged.

What was your biggest obstacle - None; I'm not adverse to relying upon making purchasing decisions based upon research and conversations. With the exception of a couple of purchases the results haven't been an issue for me.
 
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microstrip

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May 30, 2010
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What was your biggest obstacle?

Current biggest and insurmountable obstacle - the price of the XVX ... :rolleyes:
 
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Fishfood

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Jul 12, 2020
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My biggest challenge is finding a way to play with the big boys here..... on a relative budget!

And I must say, people have been very generous with their suggestions and replies.
 
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Audire

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Jan 19, 2019
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Obtaining quality demo gear into my home system for audition. I’ve had many audio auditions in my home but desired more from manufacturers. Fortunately, I’ve heard many of my friends’ components in my home system.
 

Sampajanna

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Apr 1, 2021
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Price and home demos, like others have said. had a couple shipping problems as well—thankfully sorted. Lots of misinformation to sort through in the industry. Finding people you trust who will work to fulfill your taste because they want you to be happy, not make a sale.

Understanding my own taste was important as well. And learning to articulate it, so that I can communicate what I want and what I like. that meant learning to listen as well….

I have said this in other threads: I wish your magazine and the others included more “journey” articles, where long -term, experienced audiophiles talked about getting there and how they got there, about the products that didnt work for them and why and the ones that did and why…. HFA has an ongoing series like this. It is most helpful! I get bored with the endless parade of reviews… I canceled Hifi+ ; it was my least favorite. I replaced it with HIfi News & Music Reviews, which is much better. I currently have Stereophile, Absolute Sound and that one. I love them, but I do wish they felt like they were written on my behalf more, as opposed to on the behalf of the industry. That isn’t to say they don’t have anything for me, they clearly do or I wouldn’t pay. (Hifi+ had nothing for me). But I do think they could all be improved in that way. Could be more helpful, in other words. I also think that would go a long way towards expanding the community. I want more than just glowing reviews of all the latest stuff.
 

Tango

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Mar 12, 2017
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Looking to understand the forum’s experiences with purchasing gear…

What worked well for you?

What did not work as well for you?

What was your biggest obstacle?
What have been working well with me is seller service and the extent to which they step in to solve problem for me when arise.
A dick shrinking put off for me and my friends is the lead time. It is almost like putting a deposit for a Tesla Roadster these days. No ETD. And I am not talking my one off speakers I bought from ddk.
 

Kingrex

Well-Known Member
Feb 4, 2019
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Used gear has not worked well on many occasions. My Dartzeel so far is an exception.

My biggest obstacle is money. Midlevel and up is through the roof. I'm all midlevel now so any step up is 10s of thousands.
 
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cjf

Well-Known Member
Nov 19, 2012
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What worked well for you?

A hybrid approach system with a 50/50 or so mix of Pro Audio gear and Audiophile branded gear.

What did not work as well for you?

A system having components in it that are too niche, too new or have too small a following of Users. That kind of gear tends to be very picky IME and tends to only work well when every star aligns perfectly. One component change up or downstream of it can be all it takes to ruin your day/week/year or next few years.

I guess you can say this for anything but the niche products IME have been way more sensitive to changes and not playing well with others compared to the proven players in this game.

What was your biggest obstacle?

$$$$$$ to afford the gear I wanted. I could have gotten there much sooner if it were not for some expensive mistakes along the way. Looking back, I guess an even bigger obstacle was convincing myself that the newest shiniest thing (in whatever audio category you can name) was not automatically better than what I already had on hand.
 

Rt66indierock

Member
Jul 1, 2022
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I am most interested in recent purchases.
Well, Lee I needed a Verizon phone, so I borrowed an LG V60 ThinQ, measured it and listened to most of my reference albums. It didn’t have MQA a deal killer for the vast majority of us, so I bought one. I’ve been happy with it. Its one of the devices I use to sell high performance audio to younger people.
 

Lee

Well-Known Member
Feb 4, 2011
2,153
754
550
Alpharetta, Georgia
Well, Lee I needed a Verizon phone, so I borrowed an LG V60 ThinQ, measured it and listened to most of my reference albums. It didn’t have MQA a deal killer for the vast majority of us, so I bought one. I’ve been happy with it. Its one of the devices I use to sell high performance audio to younger people.
MQA is doing really, really well. I think you are going to have a tough year as more announcements come out.

Peter McGrath was here yesterday playing more of his wonderful classical recordings. We compared the before and after of MQA encoding and there was a noticeable improvement with the MQA version.
 

Hear Here

Well-Known Member
Feb 14, 2020
527
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Portsmouth, UK
"What was your biggest obstacle to purchasing audio gear?"

Easy answer - £ $ € - money!
 

PeterA

Well-Known Member
Dec 7, 2011
10,284
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North Shore of Boston
The biggest obstacle to purchasing was cost. The biggest obstacle to good sound was exposure and not being open minded enough.

it’s a very complicated and expensive hobby with lots of different approaches and conflicting information and opinions. Once I started venturing outside of the main stream industry recommendations and ways of doing things, I begin to learn more about the hobby and what I wanted.
 
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MarkusBarkus

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Feb 7, 2021
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The biggest obstacle for me is access to great gear in a medium-size US city. It must be hell in a remote or small town. I really feel for customers in those places.

We do have some good gear, and dealers who could get flag-ship models, but not without a purchase commitment. So, the stuff most enticing to me is not really available to hear.

Over the past year or so, I have driven 65 mi/100km to see, hear and demo gear. That helps and has worked out well, but it costs time and money to buy that experience. At least it's reasonable and the guys in Buffalo are excellent.

Although schlepping a 140 lb. Stromtank both ways was a huge effort, and cost about 300 bucks all-in to demo. Even so, it was a net-plus, and saved me 25K because the Stromtank didn't make a difference here. If I had to buy that on-spec and found it lacking? Mama-mia, that would've been painful.

@Lee I can give TAS an attaboy on my most recent purchase: a pair of Elac active speakers for a small, second system. I did a bunch of reading, including the TAS speaker issue, and thought they fit the bill as I could use my Dave as a pre. I found a small local dealer, but per above, limited model offerings. So I just ordered them unheard, which I would ordinarily not do, *especially* for speakers.

It worked out well. They sound great. Listening to "Blue Serge" as I write. So, it is possible to have success, but you need some forums, mags and if lucky, some trusted opinions or it is too much of a crap-shoot. So...thanks.
 
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